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The Master of Arts in Integrative Studies

The Master of Arts in Integrative Studies (MAIS) is a flexible, interdisciplinary graduate program in which you design your own research agenda and course of study. In the program you integrate knowledge, methods and perspectives from across different disciplines. You develop the expertise to address real-world problems or questions that fall beyond the scope of traditional disciplinary or professional programs. 


This program is ideal for those seeking intellectual enrichment or professional enhancement.  MAIS graduates are excellent problems solvers, critical and creative thinkers, and effective communicators. They are what many companies call "T-shaped professionals"--individuals with both breadth and depth of knowledge, who can integrate knowledge from a variety of sources, who are creative and innovative, and who can understand problems from different perspectives.

What Do Students Do?

Here are some examples of recent MAIS projects that were successful.

  • Krista did work at the intersection of gender, feminism and popular music. Her final project was Postfeminism and Women in Popular Music.
  • Ann's final project was The Impact of People and Place, a documentary film on the history of the Athenaeum of Ohio.
  • Melissa integrated work from Communication, Education, and Organizational Psychology to produce Improving Health Literacy to Overcome Ethical Challenges in Public Health Communication.
  • Kelsey's final project, Athletes beyond the Court, reflects her work in Sports Administration, Public Administration, Communication Studies and Education. 


You must apply to the MAIS program through the NKU graduate programs. Submit all your materials to the Graduate Education program. Application material consists of

  • An online application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA
  • Up-to-date resume
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably from academic sources
  • Written statement of purpose

The statement of purpose must include:

  • A brief summary of your background leading you to seek admission to the MAIS program;
  • The personal and/ or professional goals you hope to achieve with a MAIS degree (be specific);
  • A brief discussion of the interdisciplinary topic, question or problem you intend to focus on (be specific); and
  • A brief discussion of the disciplines or courses you need to study in order to adequately cover your academic focus.

This statement will give us a sense of your writing abilities and help us determine whether the MAIS program is a good fit for you. The personal and professional goals should be carefully articulated so we can create a program for you that will allow you to achieve those goals through an interdisciplinary research agenda. Your choices of coursework should be guided a question or issue or topic that meets your interests. Only graduate level course work (500, 600, 700) can be applied. We also need to see that the right coursework is available, either through NKU's graduate program or through our local consortium of institutions (GC3). When writing your statement of purpose, you can review the kinds of courses available and suggest program of courses that you think you best prepare you for the expertise you want to develop and the research plan you hope to pursue. 

Candidates are required to take at least thirty­-three (33) credit hours of graduate ­level coursework in at least two disciplines.  At least 15 credit hours must be taken at the 600-­level or above. The total 33 hours includes the required three hour IST 585 Introduction to Graduate Integrative Studies, which is taken in the first year, and either the three ­hour Capstone course (IST 793) or the six ­hour thesis option (IST 797). Only 6 credit hours of independent study or directed readings will count toward the degree. Students can include up to 9 hours of graduate coursework from the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities (GCCCU). Transfer credits may not constitute more than 9 credit hours. We strongly encourage internships and study away opportunities for course credit.